DIY Gathered Tank Top

DIY Gathered Shona Joy Didier Top

When I saw this top on Pia Muehlenbeck I fell in love with the unique style of it. It’s sold out so buying it wasn’t an option, plus I can’t find it anywhere. I’m guessing it cost around $275 because I did find it in black with a bit of different fabric here, originally $279. It’s made by Shona Joy and the one Pia was wearing is called the Didier Top. It’s on sale now in case you want to buy it. But if you want to make your own, I’m here for you to make your very own DIY gathered tank top. And you can keep it under $10 for the cost of the fabric and elastic.

I first starting by going to Jo-Ann Fabric on a whim and purchase a yard of a satin fabric, without measuring how much I needed first. I got home and made the top without thinking it out first and figuring out exactly how it needed to be made. It turned out pretty good and looked exactly like the one Pia was wearing. BUT the problem is that it’s only gathered like hers in the front. I didn’t use enough fabric to make it gathered the same way in the back. It makes a great skirt however and will probably make an appearance on my blog sometime. 

I wasn’t 100% happy with it though so I decided to take to YouTube and actually found a tutorial on a cotton version of the top. It’s very similar and super cute. The video is from Amrani & Roy and you can watch it here. I love how she used cotton, it looked so light and airy. So I followed her tutorial pretty closely but used a different sized elastic. I recommend watching her tutorial in case you get at all confused during mine. It’s pretty straight forward once you get the hang of it and soon enough you’ll be making a DIY gathered tank top in every color. P.S. my measurements were the same as hers around the top of the bust.

Prep It

  • Cotton fabric
  • Elastic
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety pin

Do It

DIY gathered top cotton fabric

1. Measure around just above your bust (mine was 24″) then double it (so 48″ for me) and that will be the width of your fabric. I made the length of mine 24″.

DIY gathered top with pieces cut for straps

2. Cut off 3″ from the width of the fabric then cut that in half. This will be your straps.

DIY gathered top sewing instructions

3. Fold one of the long sides of your top over a little more than 4.5 cm (this will depend on the size of your elastic, mine is 3.5 cm). Then fold that over again 8 cm. Using the sewing pins, pin the piece of fabric where the first 4.5 cm fold is. 

DIY gathered top tutorial

Here is what it will look like.

DIY gathered top with elastic

4. Pin the bottom as well. Place your elastic down to make sure there will be enough room for it.

DIY gathered top instructions for gathering
DIY gathered top instructions for gathering elastic




5. Put one end of the elastic with a safety pin and then slide it through the whole that was just sewn. You’ll have to inch the piece through. Once the elastic is through on both sides, pin them together with the safety pin.
DIY gathered top elastic togetherDIY gathered top sewing it closed

6. With your fabric inside out, pin the edges together then sew down this line.

DIY gathered top straps

7. With the top still inside out, hem the bottom. Do this by folding the edge in then in again and sew this. 

DIY gathered to straps 2

8. For the straps, fold them in half horizontally then sew evenly on the edges. Then to flip the straps inside out, attach a safety pin to one edge of one end then put feed it through the inside of the tube. Once it’s through, slide the fabric down and then they will be right side out. Then iron the straps. 

DIY gathered top straps 3

9. Cut each strap in half so that there are four in total.

DIY gathered top straps hemmed

10. Hem the ends that were just cut. Do this by folding the edge over then over again, sew this down.

DIY gathered top sewing straps on

11. Now pin the straps (opposite the hemmed end) to the top while the top is on. Having the top on will help you put the straps in the correct places and look exactly how you want it. 

DIY gathered top sewing straps onto top

12. Flip the top inside out again and sew the straps onto the top just below the top stitch. Now flip the top right side out and just tie the straps together once you have the top on for the finished look. 

DIY Gathered Shona Joy Didier Top Off The ShoulderDIY Gathered Tank Top by Jenny Bess at Sweet Teal

HOW CUTE is this top! It’s so light and airy, perfect for spring and summer. You can wear it different ways too, by having the straps on your shoulders or off the shoulders. I’m absolutely in love with it and will be wearing it for Valentine’s Day. You can bet I’ll be posting Valentine’s themed photos on the day off, with Willie making an appearance too! I hope you enjoyed this DIY gathered tank top, please let me know if you would like to see more DIY clothing!


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